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Old 03-13-2014, 06:30 AM   #1
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Default Smack Pack

So I have tonight and tomorrow and am brewing 2 beers, gf just smacked the wrong pack of yeast, she smack the wyeast American ale II 1272, about 12 hours before I'll be pitching that one. Should I get a new one? Or is that still a reasonable time frame for good health as long as it's refridgerated


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Old 03-13-2014, 07:02 AM   #2
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i wouldn't worry about smacking the pack or not, i would worry about not growing up the yeast in a starter unless it's a really small batch, really low gravity, the yeast is really fresh, and you are really sure it has been treated well since leaving wyeast. what volume of beer and what gravity are you making?

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Old 03-13-2014, 07:23 AM   #3
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I'm making a 5 gallon batch of fresh squeeze IPA in the recipe section...
The guy at the beer store said just smack it right when you start the brewing process - bad???


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Old 03-13-2014, 08:44 AM   #4
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Yeah, those packs are enough to ferment your batch but they aren't enough to pitch the optimal quantity of yeast to make the best beer possible. Making a starter is highly recommended whenever using liquid yeast.

Smacking the pack is more of a viability test than anything. Nothing special really happens to the yeast. You could smack it a week before using it and you'd be just fine.

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Old 03-13-2014, 09:01 AM   #5
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I commonly smack 8 - 12 hours before I brew and keep the pack in my fermentation chamber at bout 64 degrees. Activator packs are directly pitch-able for beers up to 1.050 or so. Above that and I'd make a starter.

The older propagator packs needed starters, but I don't think they make those anymore.

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Old 03-13-2014, 09:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taoisilent View Post
I commonly smack 8 - 12 hours before I brew and keep the pack in my fermentation chamber at bout 64 degrees. Activator packs are directly pitch-able for beers up to 1.050 or so. Above that and I'd make a starter.

The older propagator packs needed starters, but I don't think they make those anymore.
To pitch the optimal amount of yeast for a 1.050 wort you need 175 billion yeast cells according to mrmalty.com. A smack pack starts with 100 billion cells and that number goes down as the pack gets older. Making a starter is advised for making the best possible beer, even a 5 gallon batch at 1.050.
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Old 03-13-2014, 01:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gameface View Post
To pitch the optimal amount of yeast for a 1.050 wort you need 175 billion yeast cells according to mrmalty.com. A smack pack starts with 100 billion cells and that number goes down as the pack gets older. Making a starter is advised for making the best possible beer, even a 5 gallon batch at 1.050.
This^^^^^^^^.

Let's say that what goes into your bucket is 5.2 gallons of 1.050 ale wort. To get a pitch rate of 0.75 (basic for an ale), you need 183 billion cells (btw, a lager will need twice that). A smack pack one month old yields about 80 billion. Toss it in there without a starter, it'll still ferment (assuming that the wort is well-aerated). Under pitching like that, however, puts your batch at risk for extended lag time, failure to properly attenuate (stuck) and off-flavors due to yeast stress.

I suspect that both Wyeast and White Labs keep saying that their pack/vial is enough to direct pitch into a 5 gallon batch because neither wants to be the one saying that theirs isn't. Folks would tend to buy the other one (that says it is enough).
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Old 03-13-2014, 03:31 PM   #8
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I've used them a couple of days after smacking and still had good beer. Don't worry about it.

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Old 03-13-2014, 03:36 PM   #9
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Go to Brewers Friend and put your numbers into their yeast starter calculator. This will show you where you are given the production date of your yeast.

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Old 03-13-2014, 06:15 PM   #10
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Thanks guys - my batch intended for today is being pushed to Sunday and I'm getting my starter going now!


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